It’s the first round of the NFL Draft and the Tennessee Titans are on the clock. Inside the Titans’ war room, sweat pours down the foreheads of scouts. And in those final seconds before the team sends their picks up to the podium there is only one opinion that matters: Young Buck?
OK, so technically it’s freshman GM Mike Reinfeldt who has the final say on all 10 of the Titans’ 2007 draft picks. But as a member of the Scene first ever Music City Celebrity War Room, rapper Young Buck’s opinion is on equal footing with our eclectic panel of prognosticators. Our group may not have a clandestine anteroom inside Baptist Sports Park, but they are brimming with opinions on the draft.
Scene: How will Pacman Jones’ status affect the Titans draft plans?
Bob McClellan (Rivals.com staff writer and SportsRadio 560 talk show host): I believe the Titans already were fairly certain they’d be without Pacman for a portion of the season, and I think they addressed that by signing free agent CB Nick Harper from the Colts. Ideally they’d have more depth at the position, but I don’t think the departure of Pac makes corner any more of a need than WR or DE.
Dave Berman (acclaimed poet and leader of indie rock band Silver Jews): Ideally, if it becomes a 10-game suspension, he should be given a chance to redeem himself during the last six games. Realistically, though, Nashville will never offer Pacman Jones the unlimited supply of second chances it had to offer George Jones or Johnny Cash. My biggest problem with Pacman, until I see some admissible evidence of him having harmed others, is the credibility he’s given to the warped points of view of the permanently angry super-patriots and sanctimonious church ladies, who are happy to finally have the political cover they need for opining about the urban element.
John McClain (NFL reporter for the Houston Chronicle and featured weekly guest on 104.5/The Zone): I’m surprised they suspended him for a year, but they may know some more stuff. [The NFL] have their own investigators. They just don’t do this based on newspaper articles and things like that…. But even if [the suspension] would have been just half a year, they were still going to have to get another corner.
Young Buck (rapper, member of 50 Cent’s G-Unit and founder of 615 Records): I don’t agree with none of it man. I feel like there’s certain situations that we as celebrities can be in without having no control of…. And I think that’s what happened to Pacman. As long as it’s not him that’s committing those actions, then he shouldn’t be held accountable for ’em…. NFL and hip-hop is two different things, but celebrity is one thing. In that sense, you actually have to walk in his shoes for a minute and understand it before judging him.
Scene: What are the Titans pressing needs?
Berman: WR, DE, OL, CB and some serious P.R.
Jeff Diamond (former Titans president and current co-host of the Sports Guys on 106.7/The Fan): Obviously they’re not going to take a quarterback, but other than that they could take a player at any position who was the highest rated guy on the draft board. But if two players were fairly even you’d want to go to need and, given the Pacman situation, corner is certainly a need.
McClain: Return ability is going to figure in on this. Whether it’s a receiver or a DB. They know Pacman could get in trouble again, so they have to approach the draft as if they’ll never get him back.
Young Buck: They can draft around Pacman and know that he’s coming back. I think at this point in time it’s about us getting our running game and receiving game up to par.
Scene: OK, the Titans are on the clock: who would you take with the 19th pick in the first round of the NFL draft?
Berman: Robert Meacham (WR, Tennessee) or Aundrae Allison (WR, East Carolina).
McClellan: I think the guy they want is Nebraska defensive end Adam Carriker.
McClain: I would take a guy like (cornerback) Aaron Ross out of Texas.
Frank Wycheck (former Titans tight end and current co-host of the Wake Up Zone on 104.5/The Zone): The kid (Adam) Carriker (DE, Nebraska), since he looks like a guy that they would really love to have.
Diamond: There are five or six first-round-type players (at receiver) so I could see them picking up Dwayne Bowe from LSU or Robert Meacham from Tennessee or Dwayne Jarrett from USC. That’s such a glaring hole for them right now. You’ve got Vince Young and you got nobody for him to throw it to.
Scene: With longtime general manager Floyd Reese out and coach Jeff Fisher practically at the helm alongside first year GM Mike Reinfeldt, how do you think the draft strategy will differ from the Reese era?
McClellan: I don’t think there will be any noticeable difference. Fisher always had plenty of input. Plus, there are enough needs to justify anybody they might pick on the first day.
Wycheck: I don’t really know the ins and outs of Jeff and Floyd’s relationship and the drama or whatever, but I would just think that both of them were working for the same goal, to pick the best player. But ultimately the power to make the pick was Reese’s. And from what the Titans have said, that really hasn’t changed.
McClain: Floyd never, never took somebody that he didn’t want to take. In ’95 he wanted Steve McNair and Jeff wanted Kevin Carter. In ’96 Floyd wanted Eddie George and Jeff wanted Lawrence Phillips. I know there was a big feeling in the organization, don’t take Andre Woolfolk. But Floyd did it anyway and that turned out to backfire. Floyd would never take somebody he was totally against but in the case of Pacman both of them knew they needed a defensive back and they took Pacman.